Summer Beach Day-Campus Point

18×24″ oil on canvas panel– We’re so lucky during heat waves like this to have the ocean so near.  The water today at Campus Point was filled with people cooling off in the surf.  I hope you are all finding ways to stay cool today… Here is a watercolor sketch from the same site down below on the beach a couple of weeks ago.  

Fields Ablaze

20×20″ oil on canvas– The meadows in the Botanic Gardens are aflame with poppies right now.   Bees are swarming, the air is warming and the short sweet season of spring is in full swing.  Sorry about the accidental post earlier in the week– I was working on my website and pushed the wrong button. : )

Driftwoods Beach

20×48″ oil on canvas– The tides were nice and low Monday afternoon to walk from Haskel’s to Driftwoods Beach.  The cirrus clouds in the sky were hinting at the rains on the way.   I brought the sun out a little more in the painting because, well, grey isn’t my favorite color.  This is more how it would look today with the sun out again and our creeks flowing happily… 

A Glimpse of the Sea through the Oaks

18×24″ oil on canvas– Tomorrow is the equinox… happy first day of spring!  I know the season is here because I get to use electric greens to color the grass instead of the usual Southern California gold.  

Sparkling Seas, Ellwood Coast

20×48″ oil on Canvas– I loved the patterns of sparkling lights that the sun was making on the glassy ocean the day I painted this commission of the Ellwood Coast.  The blue water was a nice foil for the reds and oranges in the winter iceplant hanging over the cliffs.

A New Morning Everyday

20×48″ Oil on Canvas– Morning is my favorite time of day and spring is my favorite season.   I love the sense of newness both create and the feeling that your day is a blank canvas ready to explore.   I created this studio painting from a couple of plein air watercolor sketches I made from up in the foothills a couple weeks ago.

Warm December at Ellwood

15×30″ oil on canvas–  I’ve painted this view before, and each time the painting is so different depending upon what the light and water and seasons are doing.  I think I could paint here every day and never get bored.  I’ve had the Counting Crows line in my head, “It’s been a warm December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.”  This is a good time of year for horizon gazing and planning for brighter futures.

Watercolor Sketchbook

I have been playing with watercolors recently.  I can make a study of a painting in a fraction of the time it takes to make an oil painting, so it gives me a great way to explore compositions and experiment with design ideas.  It has been a great way to get out my creative energy when I don’t want to commit to a whole canvas.  

Fellow artists might enjoy this way of making an inexpensive watercolor sketchbook.  I cut a bunch of paper types that I like working on and took them to the copy shop to have them spiral bound.  I mask the frame with painters tape so it leaves clean edges when I pull it away.  

You can see on these first two that I often make a pencil sketch before I start painting to figure out the design and value patterns before I begin splashing color.  I used to paint with watercolor a lot when I was in high school, but haven’t used it much since.  It is fun to rediscover and I think that doing these is going to help me discover new ideas for my oils.